Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Department of Systems Engineering and Management

First Advisor

William K. Stockman, PhD


This research provides justification for experimenting with system dynamics (SD) for performing Operation and Support Cost estimates. For the C-17 Globemaster III cargo aircraft, these costs could exceed $64 billion dollars. Also, many of our weapon systems are beginning to reach the end of their effective life span, and discussions about the impact of aging, on aircraft, has become a hot topic in the literature. System Dynamics is a modeling methodology developed in 1958, but never used extensively for cost estimating. SD offers unique capabilities to the cost estimator, including the ability to model causal relationships. This capability offers the cost estimator the ability to estimate O&S costs, spares availability, and mission capable rates, throughout the life span of a weapon system. The primary goal of this thesis endeavor is to prove the applicability of SD for cost estimating by demonstrating the various outputs of a SD model, including fixed and variable costs; secondarily, showing how the results from the SD model can provide a better estimate of future costs, when compared to models in use today.

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DTIC Accession Number